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Feb. 5, 2016


COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina women’s basketball will play in front of its first ever sold out crowd at Colonial Life Arena when the No. 2/2 Gamecocks host No. 1/1 UConn on Monday night, the Gamecock Athletics Ticket Office announced today. In the 18,000-seat facility, it will be the largest crowd ever to watch an NCAA women’s basketball game in the state of South Carolina.

“I’m tremendously excited for our community, our university and our students that the game is sold out,” South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley said. “It’s an atmosphere that will create memories for our players, long-lasting memories. I’m hoping that there is magic in the building for us to play well and keep our home winning streak going.”

South Carolina leads the nation in average attendance this season with 14,557 fans per game through 11 home games, one of just two teams in the nation to average at least 10,000 this season. Seven of the top 10 attended games in the nation this season have already been played at Colonial Life Arena. This season’s current single-game attendance leader is the 17,150 fans that watched Kentucky defeat Duke at Rupp Arena on Dec. 20. The top game in the 2014-15 season came on Nov. 17, 2014, when Rupp Arena welcomed 22,075 fans as Kentucky defeated Baylor.

Monday’s game will be the Gamecocks’ third No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown and the second with UConn in as many seasons. Last season, then-No. 1 South Carolina traveled to then-No. 2 UConn on Feb. 9 with the Huskies claiming the win. South Carolina’s first appearance in a 1-vs.-2 game was on Jan. 8, 1982, when then-No. 1 Louisiana Tech defeated then-No. 2 South Carolina at Carolina Coliseum.

This season’s matchup of the nation’s top two teams will air on ESPN2 as part of its Big Monday lineup with Dave O’Brien, analyst Doris Burke and reporter Maria Taylor calling the game. SportsCenter anchor Zubin Mehenti will also be at Colonial Life Arena for live segments during the 6 p.m. edition of the show. SEC Network will be present as well with The Paul Finebaum Show broadcasting live from the Colonial Life Arena floor 3-7 p.m. with scheduled guests to include Staley, men’s basketball coach Frank Martin, football coach Will Muschamp, former football coach Steve Spurrier and athletics director Ray Tanner. SEC Now will close out the night’s activities with Taylor anchoring the show from Colonial Life Arena with analysts Andy Landers and Nell Fortner.